With the releases of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, the DC Extended Universe is now in full swing. Next year, the franchise will expand even further, as the first live-action Justice League film makes its way to the big screen. After appearing briefly in cameos, heroes such as The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman will make their first substantial contributions to the series in director Zack Snyder’s team-up. Then, they’ll all head off to headline their own solo vehicles.
Of the three, Aquaman arguably seems to be the one that’s furthest along in development. The Conjuring and Furious 7 director James Wan is calling the shots, drawing from a script by Will Beall. Jason Momoa is in line to reprise his role as Arthur Curry, and he’ll be joined by the likes of Amber Heard and Willem Dafoe. The film is set for a July 2018 release date, and it’s now been revealed when and where Aquaman will be in production.
According to the Daily Telegraph (hat tip LRM), the movie is going to shoot in the country of Australia, in addition to spending time at Warner Bros.’ Studio Leavesden stage in London. At this point in time, the filming dates are unknown, but given the DCEU’s release slate, one would assume that the cast and crew will assemble down under during the summer of 2017, roughly a year before Aquaman hits theaters.
Of course, Aquaman will not be the first major comic book adaptation to call Australia home. Marvel used the territory during filming on Thor: Ragnarok earlier this year. The country has become a sought-after location for studios due to the substantial tax breaks offered. For instance, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was given a $21.6 million incentive to shoot in Australia in 2014. No doubt, Warner Bros. is hoping to receive a similar amount of funding as they working on bringing the world of Atlantis to the big screen. The budgets for superhero films are very high, so every little bit certainly helps.
It will be interesting to see for what Wan uses Australia. Beall recently said that the movie will take place both in the water and on land, teasing that “some of the most fun action” from the film is actually set on dry ground. Details in the report were skim, so for now, it’s anyone’s guess. It is plausible that Australia will stand in for an Earth-based city, just as it has “played” New York for Ragnarok, but fans will just have to wait and see when the inevitable set photos start leaking on social media. By then, a clearer picture will emerge and viewers can see how Australia fits in.
In the meantime, this news is exciting for DC Comics fans, as Aquaman takes another step closer to becoming a reality. There’s still some work that has to be done to round out pre-production, but the pieces are coming into place nicely. People are curious to see what Wan can do with this material and whether or not his claims of Curry being the DCEU’s Wolverine are accurate. So far, moviegoers have responded well to what’s been shown of Aquaman, so hopefully that remains the case.
Suicide Squad is in theaters now. Wonder Woman opens on June 2, 2017; Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, the Batman solo movie and Man of Steel 2 are currently without release dates.
Source: Daily Telegraph (via LRM)